Heart Association fundraiser turns sour

Published 9:26 am Tuesday, March 15, 2011

AHOSKIE – An event scheduled for here this past weekend was billed as a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. However, it turned into heartache.

Decembre Montague-Pierce, 33, of 10707 US 258 Murfreesboro, turned herself into the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office late Saturday night after warrants were drawn for her arrest. She stands charged with one felony count each of embezzlement and obtaining property by false pretense.

She was placed under a $15,000 secured bond and is scheduled to make her first court appearance today (Tuesday).

Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan said Pierce’s arrest and charges stemmed from a complaint lodged by one of the numerous individuals and business owners who had put their monetary support behind the GO RED Gala, a formal event scheduled for Friday, March 11 at an Ahoskie restaurant.

Based on the information gained by HCSO Detective Dexter Hayes, Vaughan said money was collected from ticket sales and from corporate donations to help fund the Gala.

“The complaint against Ms. Pierce was when she met on Thursday with the business owner that was hosting the event to pay for the building rental and food, she said she didn’t have the money with her, rather it was in the bank,” Vaughan said. “Upon checking the local bank where Pierce said the account was set up, there was no account listed in either her name or the name of her organization, The Love Center (located on Railroad Street in Ahoskie).”

Friday’s gala, from where a reported 150-plus tickets were sold in advance, was not held.

Sheriff Vaughan said if any other individual or business owner can show proof that a donation was made for the staging of the GO RED Gala, they need to contact Detective Hayes at 358-7800.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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